Back in 2001, I made a life-changing decision. You might think I'm exaggerating when I say "life changing," but I'm really not. I was shopping at Target and saw the book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone for the millionth time. It had so much hype, and I wanted to know why. I bought the book and then forced everyone around me to read it. You're welcome, by the way!
I'm so happy that I started the book series before the movies came out. J.K. Rowling creates such a magical place, with so much detail and description that I really believe I'm picturing Harry's world the way she wants me to. And once the movies did start coming out, it was fun (and sometimes stressful) to compare the books to the films.
I know some of the world is disappointed in the last film, but I have to say that I loved it. I'm glad that I didn't re-read the book right before I went to the Cinebistro (21 and up, the only way to see movies that might be overrun with screaming, talking, crying, and horrible teenagers - you'll catch me there for Twilight and Hunger Games, too) to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II. I'm way too critical when I do that. This way, I remembered the important events but didn't get caught up in what was missing. For me, the four highlights (and sobbing points - don't worry, I was crying silently so as not to disturb my fellow 21 and up moviegoers) were when Harry finally sees Snape's memories, when Harry is in the forest with the stone, when Harry and Dumbledore are at King's Cross, and of course the end. I tried to keep it vague in case you didn't see the movie.
Following Harry's journey through the wizarding world has been such a special part of the last ten years of my life. To honor Harry, his friends, and his foes, here are some of my favorite quotes from each book (although there are so many more terrific quotes in each book and by each character):
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: "It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends." -Professor Dumbledore
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: "It's our choices, Harry, that show who we truly are, far more than our abilities." -Professor Dumbledore (I knew this would happen - try as I may to be equal to all characters, I can't resist Dumbledore's wisdom. Most likely the rest of the quotes I choose will be Dumbledore quotes. Can I name my first child Dumbledore?)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: "The consequences of our actions are always so diverse, so complex, that it makes predicting the future very difficult, indeed." -Dumbledore
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: "If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals." -Sirius Black
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: "Youth can not know how age thinks and feels, but old men are guilty, if they forget what it was to be young." -Dumbledore
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: "I am not worried, Harry," said Dumbledore, his voice a little stronger despite the freezing water. "I am with you." (If you've read the books and you are familiar with the characters, you know why this is such a powerful quote. If you haven't, I think you need to head to the library and get started.)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: "Above all pity those who live without love." -Dumbledore
All is well...